Friday 25 May 2018

Pro-repeal advocates believe Dublin is 'crucial' to carrying to Yes vote

A cyclist passes a ‘Repeal’ supporter at Portobello in Dublin. Photo: Steve Humphreys
A cyclist passes a ‘Repeal’ supporter at Portobello in Dublin. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Shona Murray

Pro-repeal advocates are relying on Dublin to carry the overall national victory.

"That's what the hope is - that Dublin will carry it," said Labour Party Senator Ivana Bacik.

Ms Bacik was attending a cross-party canvass in favour of repeal in Portobello, Dublin.

It was also attended by local TDs Jim O'Callaghan of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael's Kate O'Connell from the constituency of Dublin Bay South.

The constituency is thought to be a liberal stronghold - 78pc of voters there voted in favour of same-sex marriage.

It's an area where votes in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment are deemed "crucial" for those on the Yes side to succeed.

"Certainly Dublin will be crucial," said Senator Bacik.

The vast majority of residents canvassed gave their nod towards repeal.

"When I heard stories about couples who had to travel to the UK for fatal foetal abnormalities, it really upset me," said Maria, who asked that her surname not be used due to concerns her opinion may not be compatible with her employers.

"I felt it was my duty to vote Yes and to encourage other people to vote Yes in particular for those families.

"In everything in life there's a journey, and my decision towards voting in favour of pro-choice is a journey. Possibly like every Irish person voting Yes," she said.

However, not all residents canvassed will be voting to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

Mary O'Neill said: "I know it's dangerous for those Irish women who take the abortion pill, and if they feel that strongly about taking them then it's their choice. But there's a baby involved too.

"They can call it what they like - a cell or a foetus - but, at the end of the day, leave it long enough it'll be a baby which will be a human being."

A long-time pro-choice advocate, Ms Bacik said this campaign was "much more respectful" than previous ones.

"It's nothing like the old days. People are respectful even when they disagree with you," she said.

She predicted a "close result for the Yes" side, but said there were concerns about the greater saturation of No posters, particularly in rural areas that may already be a tough audience.

"You can see the No posters so dominant in rural areas," she said. "Everywhere you've two or three houses, you've a No poster."

However, she said canvassers going door to door are making a difference with those who say they are undecided.

Irish Independent

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